Managing Risks: Process, Process, Process (and Documentation)

You are going to need to establish a more robust process when you have a split team. When everybody in the team sits in the same vicinity, you can get away with sloppy process and thin documentation. Once you have a remote team, the situation changes and you’ll have to have a better defined and more strict process in place, including more complete documentation for every step of it.

For an offshore team, with no overlap time with your US-based team, you are going to need the most strict process in place and the most complete documentation, including formal materials for training the remote teams (remember, due to high turnover rates, you’ll end up training multiple people for the same position over time).

In particular, two items have to be formalized:

  • Requirements have to be complete, including accurate layout for user interface screens. They must also be updated religiously whenever changes are made.
  • For every requirement, and for every change thereafter, engineers must respond with written engineering specs, including appropriate diagrams.

This is good practice in general, but if you’re not very strict about it now, it may surprise you how how much extra time it takes up front. Of course, the benefit is that this will make the project more likely to succeed; conversely, not doing this, makes highly likely to fail, particularly with offshore teams.

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